5 things you can do to better empower frontline workers in your organisation:
3. Produce aggregated views of needs-based data - many programs deliver to groups of people - so data needs to show the aggregate needs and risks across groups of people - this is only possible in a well-designed visualisation. If you are planning for a service to a group of 10 people, the data should highlight the average levels of need, special context or risks across that group.
4. Compare clients to averages, historical baselines and performance targets - dashboards are powerful tools to look at data across time and individuals. It may be useful to understand, say, a level of need from a survey tool as against the average for all clients so that a case worker can understand needs relative to others they have served. This isn’t possible just looking at the individual data in the database.
5. Use data for service planning for each client - good data can help identify risks and need levels - not every client needs the same intensity of service. Well designed triage rules can help focus time and effort to the right levels, enabling staff to serve more people in the same amount of time. With enough data you can set expected levels and targets to make it easier to manage performance.
Building live dashboards does require some technical expertise especially to link legacy data to new client survey data, and to ensure the backend works seamlessly. But it also requires a good understanding of how metrics can be used, calculated and visualised, and how data is applied in a practical environment. For most social organisations, the help of a data specialist can get the system designed and empower staff to deliver good results.
Once these initial steps are underway, and you have a good flow of the right data, you may be ready for a next step which is to do ‘deep dive’ analytics to answer more complex questions and even venture into the use of machine learning to predict risk or program outcome, but that’s a topic for another time.
Join our upcoming Lunch and Learn session on 30 March 2023 to learn more about using data at the frontline. Click here to register.
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